A festivus for the rest of us

Last weekend in Tokyo was the annual Kanda Matsuri (Japanese festival). It’s quite the occasion! Everyone turns up in their “team” colours carrying portable, ornate shrines known as mikoshi. Like this:

As it moves down the street, everyone chants and moves together in time to carry the mikoshi down the street. There’s a lot of energy and effort, and the atmosphere is electric.

Of course, such a spectacle makes it extremely popular:

The procession moves through Akihabara (geek heaven) until it arrives at its final destination shrine. When you arrive, there’s lots of food stalls, games and trinkets you can buy, as well as some excellent entertainment you can enjoy with the other 50 thousand people there. I didn’t count them all, but I may not be kidding.
Check out some more photos at the gallery or better yet, the swanky new slideshow viewer.

Update: I actually went to the Kanda Matsuri, not the Sanja Matsuri.


2 thoughts on “A festivus for the rest of us

  1. Wa? So if you peel off the golden foil of that thing is there chocolate underneath?

    Either way – you ARE having spare time there it seems. You said you were flat out buying furniture and bits and bobs and learning Japanese-o. Good to see you are getting some sights in.

    Have you found any Rockabillies yet? Post some of them – they are quite cool (and dangerous).

  2. Yes, they are sacred relics AND, conveniently, made of chocolate.

    You caught me in a big lie! You thought I was diligently working and studying all the time, but here I am larking about. But yes, I’m getting lots of chances to go out and see things on the weekend too – the working and studying just fill in the other bits. But in my defense, I consider larking about to be “cultural study”. Really!

    Oh yes, I found me some rockabillies and have the pictures to prove it! I will upload it to the internets very soon.

    Aren’t you guys supposed to be hobnobbing at the conference right about now?

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